St. Kitts welcomes one millionth cruise passenger

St. Kitts welcomes one millionth cruise passenger
St. Kitts is a popular port of call on Caribbean itineraries (Image: St. Kitts Tourism Authority)

The Caribbean island of St. Kitts welcomed its one millionth cruise passenger on 16 July 2018.

The one millionth cruise visitor sailed into Port Zante onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas at 8am local time. All cruise passengers were welcomed by Lindsay Grant, the island’s Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce, and were presented with commemorative t-shirts as they watched live masquerades and performances by a steel pan band. The one millionth visitor also received a complimentary tour around half of the island.

“I am deeply gratified to welcome over one million cruise passengers to our shores,” said Grant. “It is particularly significant that this historic occasion is taking place now, as we have over two months left in the 2017-2018 cruise season to increase arrivals even further. Reaching this milestone at this point in time is truly a testament to the strength of our relationships with the cruise lines and to the continuing appeal of our tourism product.”

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s three cruise brands – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises – have made a total of 102 port calls to St. Kitts in the 2017-2018 season, bringing more than 350,000 passengers to St. Kitts.

“We are very pleased to be the cruise line that brought the millionth passenger to St. Kitts,” said Federico Gonzalez, associate vice president of Government Relations Latin America and Caribbean at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “The island is a long-time, valued industry partner that offers our guests the opportunity to explore lush natural beauty, rich heritage, a wide range of attractions. In addition, our partnership with the tourism team and their ongoing work to continually improve the infrastructure, services and amenities in St. Kitts showcases why it is one of our destinations of choice for our Caribbean itineraries.”

Now that St. Kitts has welcomed one million cruise passengers – and welcomed 35% more cruise guests between October 2017 and June 2018 than in the same period in 2016-2017 – it has earned a status as a marquee port.

“In the highly competitive Caribbean cruise marketplace, exceeding the million passenger mark for the first time is a highly significant achievement that is a direct result of our successful marketing strategy,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “Having reached this benchmark, St. Kitts is now considered by the cruise lines to be in the same elite port status category as much larger destinations in the region. Cruise passengers clearly enjoy our diverse range of activities and friendly, welcoming people, and we are working hard to ensure that we keep the ships and their guests returning to our shores.”

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Tuesday, July 17, 2018